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The 'Dash'

"We speak a lot about sunrises...and sunsets. It’s what happens in between that usually counts the most. Kinda like the dates on a headstone...there’s a whole heap hidden behind that dash." ~ Max Earle

I read this Facebook quote by my friend Max on the day before my Dad turned 80 years old and it really had a profound effect on me. I’m with my family in Barbados to celebrate this birthday and milestone with him. Now, having read the quote I was also very thankful that we were not together to talk about what had happened in the ‘dash’ of his life.

At home I am often around and taking pictures of the sunrise – I have way too many actually but that’s what happens with the digital age! When nature allows, I have a wonderful view of the sunset from the room in which I am staying in Barbados. Not many of us get to see them both on a regular basis and if you are anything like me I bet that you even forget that they happen at all. What fascinates me is how quickly the sun actually rises and sets on the horizon. It’s barely a minute or two before it’s fully visible or completely gone from view - the blink of an eye.

Isn’t that what people say about the life in general? Before you know it the children are all grown up and you are celebrating the 50th, 60th, or 80th birthday. Maybe when you turned around you had grandchildren? The question is what is happening in that ‘dash’? Are you living your life the way you had hoped or dreamed? Will the ‘dash’ represent a life lived with regret, fear or anger, or one well lived? No matter your current age or stage in life you are still in the ‘dash’ and still able to make a difference to what is said when others discuss that era, your era.

Don’t know how to get started? Choose one thing about your life that you would like to change and have the power to change. It may as simple as adding appreciation to your day. You may not walk the way you used to but now that you are a bit slower you can take in all the birds, the depth of color in the flowers, the silly things that your family says that pop into your mind as you stroll. Perhaps you think there is no one around you who would understand what you feel, but you can extend yourself to help someone else who is not as lucky as you and try to understand how he or she may feel.

This is not rocket science though it is a matter of consistency. There will be up and down days because that’s just life. The lush tropical island of Barbados could not be that way without the rain. Your life is the same. Each day you take a step toward the positive you actually take two steps – one towards the positive and one that neutralizes the negative.

Be that person who can put on the headstone “Been there, Done that, Enjoyed the ride.” And mean it!

Share your thoughts about your ‘dash’ on my Facebook page. I’d love to hear from you.

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